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February 26, 2013Sign-up for HokieHaven.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
Mother nature wreaked havoc on the schedule this weekend, but Virginia Tech managed to squeeze in four games against three teams from Saturday-Monday. Despite dealing with the frigid and unpredictable Blacksburg weather, the Hokies took three out of four to move to 7-1 on the season.
The Week In Review
Saturday - Game 5: 7-3 L to Temple
This one started early Saturday morning with the first pitch being thrown at 11:03 local time and it certainly appeared like the bats needed time to wake up as well. The Hokies manufactured a run in the bottom of the first inning off a hit-by-pitch, steal, and an RBI single by Chad Pinder, but the Hokies managed just two more singles until the sixth inning.
After Temple knotted the game at one in the fifth inning and took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning, the Hokies immediately battled back with a run of their own on a double by first baseman Brendon Hayden that scored centerfielder Andrew Rash.
Trouble arose for the Hokies, however, after starter Eddie Campbell (6 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 5 Ks) was removed. Relievers Jake Joyce and Ricky Hodges combined to give up five runs in the eighth and ninth on eight hits as the Owls took the first game of the weekend.
Saturday - Game 6: 7-5 W over Holy Cross
Shortly after losing the first game of the season, the Hokies wasted no time in getting on the board against the visiting Crusaders. Virginia Tech put up three runs in the first inning thanks to an RBI single from catcher Mark Zagunis and a two-run home run by left fielder Tyler Horan.
After Holy Cross rallied for three in the third inning, Zagunis put the Hokies ahead again with a solo home run of his own in the bottom of the third. Holy Cross would score a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to grab a 5-3 lead. But, Virginia Tech pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Rash, a based loaded walk, and later a wild pitch.
The Hokies' bullpen came up huge in this one as two-way standout Brendon Hayden (who played first base against Temple) threw three scoreless innings, surrendering just one hit, and Clark Labitan closed the game with two scoreless innings of his own.
Sunday - Game 7: 13-4 W over Delaware
Starting pitcher Brad Markey improved to 2-0 this season with a solid six-inning effort against the visiting Blue Hens. He scattered nine hits, surrendered just two runs, and struck out ten as the Virginia Tech offense did the rest.
The Hokies pounded out 13 runs on 16 hits, including another home run by Horan and multi-RBI games by Pinder, Zagunis, Horan, and Keselica.
Monday - Game 8: 5-3 W over Delaware
A long weekend finally came to an end with a 2:02 start in game two against Delaware on Monday afternoon. The Hokies survived three errors to take a 5-3 decision in which all the scoring came in two innings.
Virginia Tech scored twice in the third inning on RBI singles from Rash and Horan, only to have the Blue Hens take a 3-2 lead after two RBI singles and a bases loaded walk off Hokies starter Devin Burke in the top of the fifth inning. Virginia Tech battled back immediately, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double from catcher Chad Morgan and RBI singles by Horan and Zagunis.
The story of the day though, was the performance of Burke, who threw 7.2 innings and gave up 3 runs (1 earned) for his second win of the season.
What We Learned From The Weekend
1. Markey and Burke Continue To Impress:
Granted it's been just two weekends, but if the Hokies continue to get strong efforts from their starters like Markey and Burke then they will be perfectly fine this season. Markey's performance in particular was encouraging because of the high number of strikeouts he recorded. Being able to miss that number of bats at any level is extremely impressive.
2. It's a little early for baseball in Blacksburg:
The only way to describe the weather in Blacksburg in mid-to-late February is unpredictable. It can be anywhere from cold to rainy to windy to icy at any point. One day last week the morning started with some pretty heavy snow, giving way to mild temperatures during the day before a rainstorm rolled in during the late afternoon. This unpredictable weather led to a mess of a weekend in terms of scheduling, which always creates some tension among baseball players and coaches who just want a routine.
The Week Ahead
Feb. 27 - vs. Radford (English Field)
Mar. 1 - vs. Rhode Island (Cary, Nc.)
Mar. 1 - vs. Ohio (Cary, Nc.)
Mar. 2 - vs. Notre Dame (Cary, Nc.)
Mar. 3 - vs. Tennessee (Cary, Nc.)
Virginia Tech, which fell from No. 24 to 25 in this week's Baseball America poll, welcomes neighboring Radford Wednesday afternoon for a 3 p.m. start at English Field. The Highlanders are coming in hot at 5-1 with five straight wins, including a three game sweep of Kennesaw State over the weekend.
This weekend the Hokies will play in a multi-team tournament in Cary, NC that is headlined by the Hokies, No. 22 Notre Dame, and Tennessee. The Hokies will also play Ohio, who is 1-4 this season, and Rhode Island, who is 0-6.
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